MARS HILL, N.C. – The Lion football team pulled out a dominating 35-6 performance against Brevard on Saturday afternoon at Meares Stadium. Mars Hill finishes the season at 5-6 overall and 3-4 within the South Atlantic Conference, while Brevard dropped to 1-10 overall and 0-7 in the league.
Brevard took the opening kickoff and chewed up more than seven and half minutes of game time. However, the Lions defense held strong as Jeremy Middleton picked off a pass in the end zone to put a stop to the Tornado threat. Mars Hill took over at the Brevard 20-yard line and drove 80 yards in 13 plays, capped off by a Jamel Harbison one-yard run, to give the Lions a 7-0 lead with 2:36 remaining in the opening quarter.
The game became a two-touchdown margin early in the second quarter. After forcing a BC punt, Mars Hill methodically drove the field once again and Malik Prescott blasted his way into the end zone for the 14-0 lead.
Brevard was able to breakthrough with 2:52 left in the first half after recovering a fumble off a punt. Eight plays and 19 yards later, Dayton Rogers knocked in a 43-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 14-3. That gap would not last long as MHU took the ensuing kickoff and drove 75 yards in seven plays, finished by a beautiful play-action pass from David Salmon to Kedar Bryant for a nine-yard TD pass.
The scoring was not over at that point. Rogers connected on his second field goal of the half after the Tornado racked up 51 yards in 62 seconds for the 42-yarder, sending the Tornado into halftime trailing 21-6.
Mars Hill outgained Brevard by a total of 220-129, including 124 yards on the ground in the first half. The Lions also held a 96-33 advantage in passing yards.
The Lions wasted no time adding to the lead following the brief hiatus, taking the opening kickoff of the second half and ripping off 75 yards en route to Harbison's second touchdown of the afternoon, this time a four-yard scamper. Mars Hill forced a fumble on the next Brevard possession and Harbison recorded his hat trick with a 14-yard plunge into the end zone to catapult the Lions into a 35-6 lead, which ended up being the final score of the contest.
Mars Hill racked up an impressive 437 yards of total offense, 301 rushing, on the afternoon, while holding Brevard to only 213. Harbison carried the ball 26 times for 145 yards and three scores. Austin Brown and David Salmon finished a combined 10-15 for 136 yards through the air. Keshaun Taylor hauled in three catches for 58 yards. On the defensive side of the ball Jamel Brintley finished with 12 tackles, while Tyler Guy Parrish chipped in nine tackles.
The following four members of the Mars Hill alumni were inducted into the Mars Hill University Hall of Fame during halftime of today's game: Kristi Ferris, Claude "Hoot" Gibson, Bob and Lois Merrill, and Ricky Williamson.
The Mars Hill football team honored its 17 seniors prior to kickoff of today's game for all contributions made to the Lions program.